Nancy Pelosi resented having to "beg" her Democratic colleagues to give her another term as House speaker and privately thought that the most far-left members of Congress nearly prevented Democrats from maintaining control of the House, according to Politico reporters Jonathan Martin and Alex Burns.
Martin and Burns are the authors of an upcoming book called, "This Will Not Pass," which provides an inside account of the final year of Donald Trump's presidency and the 2020 election. Excerpts from the book were published in Punchbowl News' morning newsletter Friday, and they reveal that Pelosi felt entitled to another term as speaker because she was the only Democrat in Congress to have done the job before.
"The experience of begging for support was wearing on her. ... Pelosi was the only Democrat in the chamber — the only Democrat alive — who had already served as Speaker, who had shown she could do the legislative arithmetic and twist the necessary arms to get things done. And yet [her fellow Democrats] were making her grovel," the book recounts.
"At this point in my life, I don't need this," she reportedly vented in one of two interviews she did for the book.
Pelosi confided in Martin and Burns that "her victory in holding onto the speakership, ‘seemed like a joyless one.'"
She shared "her frustration with unusual vehemence that day, discussing her political future in a way she rarely did around colleagues. ‘You couldn’t pay me a billion dollars to run for Speaker again,’ Pelosi said.”
At 80 years old, Pelosi was re-elected House speaker after the 2020 elections, despite the fact that Democrats lost seats in the House. Party moderates blamed progressives for endangering their majority, accusing invective and demands to "Defund the Police" and radical policies like the Green New Deal of hurting them at the ballot box.
Progressives denied these accusations, asserting that moving farther to the left helps the party turn out young voters and minorities.
Pelosi reportedly agreed with the moderates and privately said Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) were fighting to be "queen bee" of the left.
“In a few strictly confidential conversations she pointed a finger leftward. Pelosi told one senior lawmaker that Democrats had alienated Asian and Hispanic immigrants with loose talk of socialism. In some of the same communities, the Italian Catholic speaker said, Democrats had not been careful enough about the way they spoke about abortion among new Americans who were devout people of faith,” the book claims.
When progressive Democrats threatened to blow up the infrastructure deal Pelosi had made with Republicans, she was furious. The book claims that "in private she vented about the progressive blockade that had forced her to cancel the infrastructure vote. … She told another House Democrat that Pramila Jayapal and Ocasio-Cortez were vying to be the ‘queen bee’ of the left, but that their reward might be serving in the House minority after the next election.”
Pelosi also criticized some of President Joe Biden's hiring decisions, stating that Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra, a former California congressman, was "untrustworthy." She doesn't particularly care for White House chief of staff Ron Klain either, Martin and Burns report.
“Not all Democrats shared Biden’s admiration for Klain; some party leaders grumbled about his hard-charging manner and expansive intellectual confidence. The Speaker of the House was one of those Democrats. Late in the 2020 campaign, Pelosi grew openly annoyed when an adviser urged her to consult with Klain about health care legislation. What, she asked, does Ron Klain know about anything?”